New Delhi: Keeping aside its so-called pro-minority image, the Arvind Kejriwal government gave its nod for prosecution against Umar Khalid, a former JNU student leader, in connection with a case related to the February communal violence in northeast Delhi.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has also given the green signal to probe the former JNU student leader under the stringent anti-terror law UAPA. As per law, sanction from MHA needs to be taken before an individual can be prosecuted under UAPA.
Umar Khalid was arrested in September under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in a case related to a larger conspiracy in the northeast Delhi riots in February 2020. Delhi Police have filed a 17,500-page long chargesheet against 15 people for “propagating violence” during the Delhi riots in February this year coinciding with the visit of US President Donald Trump.
"We have given prosecution sanction in all the Delhi riots related cases registered by the police. Now, it is up to the courts to see who are the accused," a senior Delhi government functionary said. The Delhi Police can now 'name' Khalid in their supplementary charge sheet.
"To prosecute one under section 13 of the UAPA, we need sanction from the Ministry of Home Affairs, which we have already received. For prosecution under section -- 16,17 and 18 of the UAPA, we have received sanction from the Delhi government," sources said.
On September 13, Khalid was arrested under the UAPA act in a case related to communal violence. Cops have earlier claimed that they have 'attached WhatsApp chats from February 24' when the riots were underway to substantiate their charge.
Umar Khalid was also allegedly involved in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) sedition row for protesting against the capital punishment meted out to convicted Kashimiri separatists Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat. The criminal proceedings on the same case of 2016 are also on. It may be mentioned that on February 28, 2020, the Delhi government gave their approval for a trial in the 2016 case.
Four days after the JNU protest in February 2016, the Delhi Police had arrested JNU Student Union president Kanhaiya Kumar on charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy, under section 124 of the Indian Penal Code. Five others including Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Rama Naga, Anant Prakash and Ashutosh Kumar, went into hiding after the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar and returned 10 days later.
Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya were taken to custody after they had surrendered to the police. A JNU administrative panel after probe had meted out varying punishments to a number of students. Kanhaiya Kumar was fined Rs 10,000 and Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya were later rusticated from the university for one semester.